04 October 2010

skulking in the stews

I love trying new recipes.  This was one I found on mindfood.com when having a look through their latest lot.  A few days after finding it there were 5 for dinner and it was a cold night, so what better than a warming, tasty casserole?  Until relatively recently I'd always thought of casseroles and stews as that tasteless, old-fashioned, boring meaty soup-glop.  But, having tried a few damn good casseroles over the past couple of years, and trying some different combinations myself, I've realised how wrong I was.

Casseroles (and stews, for that matter) are only boring if you leave it as meat, water and veges.  Blah.  Throw in some herbs and spices (especcially spices), and pan cook a bit before the liquid gets added and badabing badaboom, you're onto a winner.  Served with rice, couscous, pearl barley, pasta, toast (buttery toast with a tasty casserole, yum, now I'm almost wishing winter were back again!).  I'll try and hunt out a good recipe I had for a cuban-inspired casserole too, 'cause that was awesome.  It had a homemade salsa verde, with heaps of coriander.  But, for now - hearty cajun lamb!! 

2 tbsp olive oil
1 kg lamb rump steak, cut into 3 cm pieces (give or take)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 red capsicum, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
good grinding of black pepper
1 tsp each salt, cajun, paprika and dried thyme
400 g tin tomatoes
1/2 cup chicken stock (or water)
rice, to serve
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius.
  2. Brown lamb in large pan.  Once browned add onion, garlic, capsicum and celery, cooking for further 5 minutes or so. 
  3. Add spices, stir through, add tomatoes and stock.  Bring to the boil. 
  4. Transfer to casserole dish (with a lid).  Cover and cook for about an hour and a quarter.  Serve with rice.
Nb: I cooked ours for about an hour an a half, and it was fine.  Also, it stayed warm in the oven, once oven turned off, for a good hald hour more, so no hurry.  Just be sure it's not drying out and you're fine. 

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